Professor Willie Hamilton

New Professor for Peninsula Medical School

Professor Willie Hamilton has joined the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry in the newly-created post of Professor of Primary Care Diagnostics.

Professor Hamilton’s main role is to lead a team working on cancer diagnostics. This will be supported by a National Institute for Healthcare Research (NIHR) programme grant and funding from the Department of Health. The team’s main remit is to identify which symptoms of cancer really matter, which will in turn help GPs to spot possible cancer earlier. As well as identifying the relevant symptoms the team will seek to quantify each symptom, thereby estimating the percentage risk attached to each symptom or combination of symptoms.

The research is also supported by the Peninsula Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (PenCLAHRC). PenCLAHRC is a partnership between all of the local NHS organisations, the College of Medicine and Dentistry and the Universities of Plymouth and Exeter which aims to improve health through carrying out medical research which directly addresses local health needs.

Professor Hamilton comes to the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry from his previous role as Consultant Senior Lecturer at the Department of Community Based Medicine, University of Bristol. He has strong links with Exeter where he is a GP at Mount Pleasant Health Centre. He has is also chief medical officer for Exeter-based Exeter Friendly Society (where he is also an executive director) Friends Provident, and LV=. He currently chairs the early diagnosis subcommittee within the primary care grouping of the National cancer Research Institute

His work regarding colorectal, ovarian, lung, brain and prostate cancers has been widely published, as have papers on fatigue, and several other topics surrounding diagnosis in a primary care setting. His BMJ paper on ovarian cancer last year won the Royal College of General Practitioners research paper of the year award.

Professor Hamilton said: “The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry has established a national and international reputation for professional education and research in primary care and as a consequence I am delighted to be joining what is a vibrant and effective section of the College. I am looking forward to bringing new areas of research to the South West and contributing to the health and wealth of the region.”

Professor John Campbell, Professor of General Practice and Primary Care at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, added: “We are delighted to welcome Professor Hamilton to the Peninsula Medical School. He brings important new strengths and opportunities to our developing research agenda, with a strong focus on the early diagnosis of cancer in patients. Primary care research locally has developed substantially since the inauguration of the medical school, and Professor Hamilton brings a range of new research skills to our portfolio of activity.”

Date: 13 January 2011

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